As Thant Myint-U writes in his article, "Asia's New Great Game," Burma is emerging as the missing link between China and India, connecting the two massive countries to form what could become a modern Silk Road. The two giants have invested in massive infrastructure projects in Burma, which after being virtually closed to outsiders for decades has also seen a renewed interest in tourism. While long criticized in the West for its human rights abuses, Burma is being courted in the East; China sent an official delegation to the country just days after a supposedly civilian government took control, a political transition that many observers criticized as a cosmetic improvement over the junta that ruled previously.
Burma reflects the influences of Indian and Chinese culture, from the 2 percent of the population practicing Hinduism to the booming Chinatown in Rangoon, the largest city. As highways and high-speed rail projects make the country more accessible to other parts of Asia, the new Silk Road is set to redraw the map of Asia.
Above, a shop selling lottery tickets and advertising posters in the Chinatown neighborhood of Burma's largest city, Rangoon, in 2007.